During yesterday's 12th annual Festival of Stars figure skating competition opening ceremonies, Terry Sheehan, acting Sault Ste. Marie mayor; Ian McMillan, executive director Tourism Sault Ste. Marie; Brenda McEwan, director Skate Canada Algoma region; Brett Lund, president Bon Soo Winter Carnival; Asima Vezina, Regional Synchronized Skating Championship volunteer committee member; Wendy St. Denis, Regional Synchronized Skating Championship chair; Tracy Fong, Skate Canada Northern Ontario chair; and Mr. Bon Soo were pleased to be part of an exciting sporting event announcement.
Prior to competition at the John Rhodes Community Centre, it was announced that Sault Ste. Marie will host the 2015 Central Regionals Synchronized Skating Championships.
This first-time event for Sault Ste. Marie will take place from February 13 to 15 and will be incorporated into the 2015 Bon Soo Winter Carnival.
The event will have a major impact on the local tourism sector, McMillan told SooToday.com, as approximately 1,200 participants making up more than 90 teams will bring 600 visitor days to the community.
"It's the perfect economic booster to our community," he said.
It's expected that teams from across the country and from the United States will participate in the competition as it's and invitational and Canadian qualifying event.
"We're hoping that when people come to watch and our skaters get a chance to see these teams compete, that it might ignite a spark and we'll see local skaters taking part in a synchronized event," Vezina told us. "It's exciting for us to showcase a sport that's never been to Sault Ste. Marie."
A news release issued by Skate Canada Northern Ontario follows.
Sault Ste. Marie to host 2015 Central Regionals Synchronized Skating Championships
SAULT STE. MARIE - Skate Canada Northern Ontario announced yesterday that the City of Sault Ste. Marie will play host to the 2015 Central Regionals Synchronized Skating Championships.
The Essar Centre will host the provincial event from February 13-15, 2015.
The bid to host the event was submitted by Skate Canada Algoma Region.
Every four years, the championship is held in Northern Ontario.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Sault Ste. Marie will be hosting the 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championships. Our city is an ideal place to host winter sporting events, and I know this will be a huge opportunity for local businesses, in particular our hospitality and tourism sector” said Debbie Amaroso, Sault Ste. Marie mayor. “On behalf of City Council, thank you to Skate Canada Algoma Region and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie for securing this great event.”
“This is a major event for Sault Ste. Marie, one that will fill many of our hotels and provide a significant economic impact to the business community in our city,” said Ian McMillan, executive director Tourism Sault Ste. Marie. “We are extremely grateful to Skate Canada Northern Ontario and Algoma Region who were instrumental in working with us to secure this unique opportunity.”
“Skate Canada Northern Ontario is thrilled to be hosting the 2015 Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. We look forward to working with the Bon Soo Winter Carnival, the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma Region to stage a first class event,” said Traci Fong, Skate Canada Northern Ontario chairperson.
“The entire Bon Soo family shares in the excitement to welcome this wonderful Regional Championship event,” said Kerrie De Poli, manager Ontario Winter Carnival Bon Soo. “We would like to say loud and clear that Bon Soo Is For You! We can’t wait to welcome and include you as part of the 2015 Ontario Winter Carnival Bon Soo line up. The Ontario Regional Synchronized Skating Championships, Bon Soo Winter Carnival and beautiful downtown Sault Ste. Marie – a wonderful winter combination.”
Full details of the event, and its significant economic impact for the community, will be unveiled at a future date in the host city.
Skate Canada Northern Ontario is dedicated to providing quality skating programs for all skaters in an atmosphere that encourages enjoyment, personal development and achievement.
This is accomplished through the implementation of programs and events in all communities within the Section.
The Northern Ontario Section is run by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The board provides strategic direction, sets policies, and implements initiatives which allow us to achieve our mission.
The board and its initiatives are supported by the Section Office.